Howard’s Storage World (HSW) granted Haviv a franchise to operate an Howard’s Storage World retail outlet at Burwood in Sydney. The terms of the franchise included a grant of an exclusive territory for a radius of 5km.
Subsequently, HSW granted someone else an franchise to operate an Howard’s Storage World franchise at a new shopping centre at Rhodes, approximately 4,840m from Haviv’s Burwood store.
The breach of the contractual exclusivity promise was found, but claims for breach of TPA by misleading or deceptive conduct were rejected.
Jagot J explores the basis on which the damages payable to Haviv should be calculated in Haviv Holdings Pty Limited v Howards Storage World Pty Ltd  FCA 242.
Her Honour considered the nature of the grant of exclusivity – it did not extend as Haviv contended, to a right to be offered the franchise for Rhodes. Nor did it preclude the opening of another store with a territory radius of 5km which overlapped with the territory within 5km of the Burwood store.
On the calculation of damages, her Honour considered the following issues:
- Was Haviv entitled to claim damages on the scenario that, if the third party had not been granted the Rhodes franchise, Haviv would have been – No
- Did Haviv prove that the breach of the exclusivity promise caused it loss – Yes
- How to assess that damage on the basis of loss of net profits
- The extent to which damages should be calculated for the period after Haviv closed the Burwood store in 2007 – damages would be payable until the expiry of the last option for renewal period – 2022
- The date the loss should be assessed at
- What discount rate should be adopted and how should it be applied
- What gross profit percentage should be used
- How should fixed costs including rent and refurbishment costs be treated?
At  her Honour summarised her findings:
(1) Mr Halligan’s “alternative C” period of assessment should be used (that is, with damages assessed until the end of the option period, being 17 July 2022).
(2) The benchmark group should comprise Hornsby, East Gardens, Macquarie and Bondi Junction stores.
(3) The discount rates applied should be 28% for losses to the date of judgment and 30% for losses thereafter.
(4) The rent increase should reflect the true position where known (that is, $138,490.56 per annum for seven months from 1 September 2007 and an annual rental of $187,000 from 1 April 2008 to the end of the current lease on 31 March 2013 with appropriate adjustments thereafter from that base).
(5) The figure of 50.3% should be used as the gross profit percentage for the 2007 financial year onwards.
(6) The refurbishment costs should be $40,000 in July 2007, $155,000 in July 2012 and $40,000 in July 2017 and subject to mid-period discounting.
The parties were sent away to have their experts recalculate their reports on the basis of her Honour’s findings.
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